Lessons from Uganda

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Inside USD -- This reflection was written by Nathan Phillips ‘15. Phillips, who is majoring in finance with a minor in English, traveled to Uganda this summer.

In 2008, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Uganda for a service trip, and my time there kick-started my passion for the country. Last summer, I completed a 1400-mile bike ride from Washington State to San Diego and raised money for a nonprofit that works in East Africa (primarily Uganda) called Invisible Children. From June 26 to July 8 of this year, I was able to come full circle as I traveled to Uganda for a 10-night whirlwind adventure. I want to share a few of my experiences from the trip.

During the first two days, I worked primarily at the John T. Miller School. The word “work” should not be taken literally. Basically, I played soccer with a group of young kids. During the soccer, I was able to build a wonderful relationship with a boy named Raymond. He did not speak English well and I speak zero Luganda, so we bonded over soccer. To me, service trips are less about service than they are about building relationships. When I left that school at the end of the two days, I had a fast friend in Raymond. We needed no language in common. All we needed was a love for a simple game. (Full Story)

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